Movie star Jake Gyllenhaal was taught how not to drive by Paul Newman when the screen icon gave him a hair-raising ride on a racetrack.

Gyllenhaal's mother Naomi Foner was writing a screenplay with Newman at the time the blue-eyed superstar decided to give him a lesson he would never forget.

He recalls, "Paul Newman taught me how to drive. When I was 15, my mum was writing a script with him and we went out to the racetrack.

"He threw me in the passenger seat and started driving. We're 100 ft from a wall going 60 miles an hour and he hits the brake and turns the wheel - and the car spins three times.

"Then he turns to me and goes, 'That was what you won't do.'"